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dolan said benedict added -- had a tough act to follow. >> he shrugged and said compared to john paul ii, i do not know i am up to this. he has done well for almost eight years. gretzky -- it is expected the vatican will hold a conclave to select a new pope before easter. >> there is a lot of speculation about whether the next leader of the church will be younger or maybe from a developing country. >> more than 1 billion people identify as catholic. maybe another surprise is in store when the cardinals elect his successor. >> members of the archdiocese will be paying close attention to the vatican. for more on that, we're joined from cathedral mary our queen in north baltimore. >> baltimore's tarja. that -- archbishop is commending the pope. by recognizing his limitations. many are talking about who would be best suited to succeed the probe. >> i do not think it would be an american. >> the pope is to be aunifin unifying figure. >> he believes the next pope may be from a developing part of the world. >> the church is growing leaps and bounds. in africa as well as latin america. and head
. >> pope benedict xvi is allowing the cardinals to elect his successor sooner than march 15. today the hurry the wreckage -- resignation of britain's most senior cardinal is casting a cloud over the final days of benedict. sexual misconduct allegations date back to the 1980's. he is facing allegations that he engaged in improper conduct with other priests. it is the first time a cardinal has recused himself from a conclave because of personal scandal. pope benedict will step down on thursday. the only u.s. surgeon general to become a star in the role has passed away. c. everett coop died today at his home in new hampshire. it was a leading spokesperson on public health. he focused america's attention on the aids epidemic and rallied against smoking, saying nicotine is just as addictive as heroin or cocaine. he was 96 years old. >> if you have a kid at home, the chances are pretty good you'll have to deal with an ear infection at some point. starting today, pediatricians may gloat -- may no longer look at avionics as the best medicine. kate amara explains in tonight's medical alert.
terms. a milestone moment witnessed by thousands. pope benedict delivered his final sunday blessing. as anne thompson explains, he prepares for retirement and it new controversy. >> during the final blessing of pope benedict. the 100,000 people not only got a blessing but they heard the pope give more reason for why he is retiring. he told the crowd got has called him on the mountain. -- god has called him on the mountain to live a life of prayer and meditation. he wants to live this life with the same kind of dedication but to do so in a way more appropriate for his age and strength. >> affection, closeness, and prayer. >> the event played out against the background of a new scandal. the priests what the cardinal to resign immediately. a spokesperson told me the pope will be informed about the matter. the vatican will issue a statement tomorrow morning. >> still ahead, which stars can call themselves oscar winners. plus, love for the game and a big donation. it adds up to a great new experience for baltimore school boards. -- girls. >> other storms waiting in the wings. the car >>
. less than two weeks before pope benedict -- benedictus steps down officially. more on what is next for the catholic church as the cover the world. >> in rome, pope benedict is suddenly number one on everybody's list. today, he gave his weekly prayer. this crowd was worthy of a rock star. his exit from his last public mask turned churchgoers' into paparazzi. 35,000 people have already requested three tickets since the vatican. >> i think he will make it work because he will simply retire into the deep background and not be seen in public. >> eventually, he will live in this renovated monastery in vatican city, close to the new pope. no one expects him to be intrusive. >> the new pope may come in and seek his advice. >> he will be remembered as the pope who resigned. without a doubt. it may be his finest legacy to the church, his greatest gift. he has brought papacy into the modern age. the process to choose the successor is scheduled but it could move up. >> back to you. >> now, your weather forecast. >> it was a rod day. the wind had something to do with it. it felt like the teens
to celebrate ash wednesday. the venue drew thousands as pope benedict xvi presided over his last public mass as pontiff. the first since announcing he is retiring at the end of the month. the vatican has announced the conclave to elect a successor will start between march 15 and march 20. those not able to make it to an area at church for ash wednesday service is to give an edge of ashes on the program. several members of the episcopal clergy stood on sidewalks offering ashes. they say the program allows them to reach hundreds of people who could not otherwise participate. today marks the start of lent leading up to easter in the ash is used to start this time of reflection. >> we're trying to take the church outside a little bit so that people who have no experience with ash wednesday can get a little bit of information about what is and what it means and how it is related to easter. >> this is the second year the episcopal diocese of maryland has participated in the ashes on the program. next, a baltimore flores said she fell victim to an employee she trusted. the designer who allegedly st
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